MILTON — During the fall and winter months it’s easy to get caught up in holiday planning and forget to take advantage of your insurance benefits. 

Every October, individuals should direct their attention to outstanding health care needs and take full advantage of paid-up deductibles or available funds in Flexible Spending Accounts. 

“In considering their health care needs, people should also consider the best strategy for using their available health insurance plan benefits,” said Nichole Butts, Practice Manager for Santa Rosa Medical Center. “Now is the time to take advantage of unused benefits to complete outstanding treatments or recommended tests or procedures."

Most health insurance plans have a deductible requirement — a predetermined amount of health care expense that must be covered before the plan begins paying the majority of (if not all) remaining expenses. Butts says it’s crucial to know how close you are to meeting your deductible — or if you’ve already met it “because once you reach that threshold, you have a limited window of opportunity to obtain health care services and have the bulk of that expense covered by your plan. Remember: a new year brings a new deductible,” she says.

The close of 2017 also affects individuals who have Flexible Spending Accounts — which are pre-tax dollars set aside primarily for health-related expenses. The Internal Revenue Service requires those funds to be spent — or forfeited — by Dec. 31. It’s a “use it or lose it” proposition, says Rodney Sisk, Chief Financial Officer. 

If you have been putting off scheduling care, such as an annual check-up, allergy testing, or knee-replacement surgery, it would be wise to check your deductible status and your FSA balance to see if there’s money to be saved, Sisk said.  

“It’s important to schedule services promptly so that there is enough time to have the test or elective procedure done before the end of the year. Getting everything squared away by early December will help ensure the services you receive are considered part of your 2017 coverage,” he says.

Every health plan is different. It is important to know how your plan works so you can get the most from your benefits.

Call 626-5300 to schedule an appointment today with a primary care physician today or schedule on appointment at www.santarosamedicalgroup.com.